Tri-series good warm-up for Asian Cup Qualifiers, says India coach

Stephen Constantine welcomes the tournament in Mumbai next week, with India, Mauritius and St. Kitts participating.

Stephen Constantine believes the tri-series will help the Indian team members “understand each other better.”   -  K. Murali Kumar

The tri-series against Mauritius and St. Kitts will be handy practice for the Indian team ahead of its crucial AFC Asian Cup Qualifying match against Macau on September 5, according to head coach Stephen Constantine.

“The two matches would immensely benefit our quest to maintain an all-win record in the Asian Cup Qualifiers,” Constantine said.

India will play the tri-series between August 19 and 24 in Mumbai. India is on top of AFC Asian Cup qualifying Group A at the moment with back-to-back victories over Myanmar and the Kyrgyz Republic. “Qualification to the 2019 Asian Cup stays the priority. It will be nice to work with the boys again. They will be coming after a long break. And we need to work hard for them to attain the fitness levels which are required for an international match,” Constantine said.

“The boys need to play matches to understand each other better.”

India is currently placed 97th in the FIFA rankings after 13 victories in the last 15 matches (including the unofficial match against Bhutan). The team has actually moved up 76 places since March 2015. India was ranked 171 when Constantine took over as coach for the second time in February 2015 and had slipped further to 173 in March 2015.